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Police: Bluff City traffic stop nets $20,000 in gravel

March 17th, 2014 2:32 pm by Rain Smith

Police: Bluff City traffic stop nets $20,000 in gravel

Richard Hillman and Joshua Hughes.

Two men were arrested Sunday in Bluff City while allegedly transporting 50 grams of gravel into the area, with police estimating street value of the drugs at approximately $20,000.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office reports the discovery was made during a traffic stop on Highway 11-E. As part of a continuing investigation into gravel distribution, detectives reportedly learned Richard Hillman, 53, of Ridgecrest Avenue in Kingsport, was transporting Alpha PVP from out-of-state to a location in Piney Flats.

Alpha PVP is the stimulant ingredient and technical term for gravel, acting on the cardiovascular and central nervous system. It's often mixed with other drugs or ammonia nitrate to create gravel, which comes in rock-like form and is ingested similarly to the synthetic drug bath salts, through smoking or injection.

Police say Hillman's vehicle was spotted while traveling approximately 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, with a Bluff City officer conducting a stop. SCSO vice detectives responded to speak with Hillman, while a Coeburn, Va. man, Joshua Hughes, 26, was found to be a passenger in his vehicle.

Two baggies containing approximately 50 grams of gravel were allegedly located in their possession. Police say Hillman also had two knives, while Hughes possessed a glass pipe and tube.

Both men were arrested, with each charged with possession of a controlled analogue substance for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The SCSO report that at the time of the arrests Hillman was out on bond for similar charges placed just last week in Johnson City. Hughes was reportedly out on bond for similar charges placed by Bristol, Tenn., police in early February.

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